To the sound of her melodious whistle playing the Love Boat tune, the leviathan cruiseship, the 144,000 ton Enchanted Princess made a dramatic arrival and departure on Bank Holiday Monday when she anchored in Falmouth Bay for a cruise call.

The signature tune was heard miles from the town.

The easterly wind and associated swell conditions in the bay died away at the right time last week, allowing perfect conditions for passenger tendering to the docks.

The ship, which is one year old, was inward from Baltic ports to make a day-long cruise call. Onboard were 1,546 passengers and 1,213 crew. A small fleet of state of the art ship’s tenders brought passengers to the shore in a round the clock operation. These sophisticated tenders are twin screw with a powerful bow thruster fitted.

Approximately 1,500 people opted to spend the day exploring Falmouth, with the town providing a shuttle bus service from the docks to town centre. On hand to meet the passengers at the dockside was a team from the Falmouth Cruiseship Ambassadors, who do a sterling job welcoming the guests and providing information.

There were also seven ship-organised coach tours carrying around 200 and a couple of pre-booked private coaches taking another 30.

 

Enchanted Princess at anchor Picture: Miles Carden

Enchanted Princess at anchor Picture: Miles Carden

 

Drystan Jones, director of port development at A&P Falmouth, said: “A&P Falmouth was delighted to welcome the Enchanted Princess and her passengers to Falmouth’s International Cruise Terminal over the weekend.

“A&P and our committed team of Cruise Ambassadors provided a fantastic welcome to over 1,500 passengers who took the opportunity to come ashore at Falmouth and explore the surrounding Cornish countryside.

"We see at first hand the economic benefits cruise offers to Falmouth and the wider geographical area. A&P has received first class feedback from Princess passengers regarding the welcome and service they received this weekend and have demonstrated our ability to support large cruise ships. We look forward to welcoming more vessels of this scale in the future.”

Falmouth Harbour chief executive Miles Carden said: “This visit by the Enchanted Princess to Falmouth Bay shows how well an anchored vessel visit can work. We were of course blessed with the weather, as it was incredibly calm.

"We are looking to the future to consider ways of working with cruise operators to attract more of these vessels to Falmouth Harbour. There is potential to increase visits and we are working with port partners on how we can better improve the experience for these larger vessels.

"The town was incredibly busy with passengers from this vessel and this reinforces the value of this type of visit to our local and Cornish economy. It was also an incredible sight to see such a large cruise vessel in Falmouth Bay.”

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Cornwall Councillor Jayne Kirkham, who met several passengers in town, said: “When I walked to the shop this morning I met a number of friendly and good humoured visitors walking into town fresh off the cruiseship and eager to find out where to get the best fish and chips and where they could taste Cornish clotted cream!”

Sporting 18 decks, the ship is a masterpiece of engineering technology from the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. Enchanted Princess is one of the largest ships in the fleet and fifth in the Royal Class with sister-ships Royal Princess, Majestic Princess, Sky Princess, Discovery Princess, Regal Princess as well as P&O’s Britannia.

The ship boasts a huge range of facilities including the fleet's biggest top deck pool area (hosting nightly the “water and light show” / computerised "Watercolour Fantasy" fountain with 85 water jets), and the fleet's biggest and most advanced outdoor cinema, the screen of which was visible from Pendennis Point.

The pandemic is still affecting cruising worldwide, with companies forced to take extraordinary measures to protect passengers and crew hence the depleted number of people onboard. The ship can normally carry 3,660 passengers and 1,366 crew.

Princess Cruises requires that passengers show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test to board.

Evidence of the affect the pandemic is having on cruiseships can be seen off Torbay where P&O’s Arcadia is at anchor. Confirming the cancellation of seven cruises, P&O Cruises said: “The current and extraordinary impact of Covid-19 in the UK, in the wider hospitality, service and airline industry as a whole has resulted in a temporary disruption to crew members available to join our ships.

“As a result, P&O Cruises will be re-deploying crew from Arcadia to other ships in the fleet."